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Monday, April 24, 2017

End Of The Tour

If anyone is interested - and I doubt it - End Of The Tour is the name of one my favorite They Might Be Giants song which is why I occasionally use it. Anyhoo, The vacation went well and we had a great time seeing Jackson, Brandi and the girls. The last day we went to Deception Pass beach - I'm always amazed at the amount of driftwood on the beaches which you are not allowed to take by the way. We went out to a Mexican restaurant and for a pair of one year olds - they do very well. Delilah had me laughing, she does not like to be fed but since they were having rice and beans for dinner Jackson did give it a try. Every time the spoon got near she would open her mouth a pinhole which of course made it impossible. Mission accomplished and beans in her hair. They spent most of the time people watching and grinning at who ever was smiling at them.

We found a shuttle service that picks up ten minutes from their house which makes things much easier. The flight home was not too bad except for when we left Seattle. They had overbooked the flight wildly - by 15 seats - and I love the way they make it the passenger's problem. First they announce 20 times they are looking for volunteers. Then they start calling names and asking those people to "please come see the agents" , etc... it really makes you mad, doesn't it? One of the women in my knitting group worked for the airlines and said years ago overbooking made sense. You used to make your reservation and then paid when you got there. What used to happen was people would make 5 or 6 reservations to make sure they got a flight which would leave tons of empty seats for the no shows.She said one airline would usually double book 50 seats on a regular basis. But now you pay for your flight ahead of time, they are nonrefundable and non transferable with huge penalties - usually if someone misses their flight it's got to be a very good reason. So you would think the days of over booking would be over, wouldn't you?


We were allowed to take the flight we paid for (sigh) - I was also better prepared this time for traveling with David who prides himself on being a Light Traveler - translation - he brought nothing to do on a 8 hour flight with a two hour lay over not to mention the two hour wait prior to the flight. I have an ereader app on my tablet so David read old Robert B. Parker mysteries to and fro which he enjoyed a great deal. We arrived at the airport - along with our luggage on time so not too shabby. We use Globe parking - it's half what the airport charges and they pick you up and drop you off so you don't have to spend time looking for a space - or where you parked your car. When you get there your car is all warmed up and ready to go - I really like them. We got home around 1:30 am and by the time we got unpacked, the first load of wash started, the litter trays emptied, etc.... it was 2:30 so I'm having a little bit of trouble getting out of bed this morning. Back to work tomorrow and real life, but we had a really nice vacation.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wheeling and Dealing.

So, while we have been enjoying the (somewhat) sunny shores of Washington State that does not mean that life back home stopped. We had originally sold the Waynesburg house to a couple that disappeared as quickly as they appeared. We've had that happen in the past -our record for selling one house is 5 times - but it's annoying when people decide to back out and then refuse to answer their phone. If they changed Thieu minds it's annoying but nothing is signed - but in the meantime we had turned two potential buyers away  as this couple assured us they were approved for the loan and would be there Monday.  Jerks. 

So, as this silliness was going on our real estate agent had been showing us foreclosures and we have looked at probably 10 of them, with her and on our own. If we see one a lot of times we'll drive out to look at it first because if you think they lie about market value houses you have no clue what they do to sell a foreclosure. Some of them have trees growing in the living room, some are just so weird and off the grid you wonder how they got built in the first place, others are so water damaged there is no fixing them. And then we came across this house. It's way out of our flip budget but ....... it's perfect. For us. And our house that we live in now has literally doubled in value in the past 5 years. What's a girl to do!

We decided to have Candy sell our Waynesburg house - you know what, if you use a real estate it DOES cut into your profit. But you don't have to handle the contract, the showings, the inspections, etc...not to mention they have a client base looking for houses. So we put her to work and we had so many responses David showed the house too and it is under contract for real - for more money so it worked out. We then put an offer on the other house and it was accepted after a week of back and forth. But this will leave us VERY house poor as we still hold the mortgage on the house in Fairmont and there will be a point where we own four houses. Eek!

SO the game plan is this - we are hoping our little mortgage holder will get on the ball and get her own mortgage by this summer, we will be closing on the house we're selling on the same day that we close on the house we're buying so the only thing we'll feel is the breeze as the money rushes by us, THEN we'll be putting our house on the market as soon as David gets a few rooms live able in our new home.  It's only about 25 minutes from where I'm living now but closer to work is closer to work and I'm really excited about it. The former owner left a picture of the house in it's glory days and we are looking forward to restoring it to it's original condition. It's a little scary and the thought of trucking all of our stuff from Point A to Point B again is not something I even want to think about - but really, this house I hope will be our opus.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Old Friends

One of the perks with Jackson and Brandi living on the west coast is that one of my oldest - and bestest - friends lives in Oregon in a town about 5 hours away. We let them know ahead of time when we will be in town and they do an overnighter at a local hotel so we can visit. When I saw Kim this time she said "do you realize we've seen each other more in the past year than we have in the past 30 or so?" And she was right - we've see  each other 3 times, when she came to my house in August, when we were here in December and again this time. 

Kim and I have know each other since Elementary school and became best friends later on - but she moved away when she was 18. She married Stephen and off they went, they never came back to live in Hampton Bays. I stayed for about 20 (?) more years(against my better judgment I might add) and then off I went. Between the two of us we've leap frogged all over! She's been in Virginia, Maine, I think Vermont, Oregon. We've been ping-ponging back and forth across West Virginia and Pennsylvania for now almost 20 years, I often think it's amazing that not only did our friendship continue but has always remained intact - we've never lost touch with each other. When they were first married it was a bit easier, we saw them all the time as it was driving distance for them to come home on the weekends and of course the summer vacation that all college students have. Then they moved to Virginia - but still came home, just not as frequently. Then we all had children and it became harder, we managed to visit them a few times, they still came up, but not as much. We began to depend more on phone calls and letters, pictures of babies in the mail. Email came and that changed it - no more waiting for a week for letters, instant response. And now - cell phones so no more worrying or limiting calls because of long distance charges. Email has given way to texting and I told Kim we can start video chatting. At some point we will live near each other again, full circle. Ending where we started - near enough to ride our bikes to each other's house I hope. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Washington!

So, Jackson is finally home from deployment and we decided it would be a good time to go visit before everything explodes real estate-wise. At this point we have sold the Waynesburg house(again), we have a contract for the house in Mather which is contingent on the first house selling AND if all that goes through we will be selling our house in Garards Fort and moving to Mather until we can find something else we can annoy our family with. Before any of you start muttering They're Moving AGAIN, please note Mather is only about 25 miles from where we live now - I plan on this house being our opus. We've found a great real estate agent and she is working it back home while we're laying round out here on the West coast. The flight this time, with one minor exception when really well and we shuttled from the airport to here as the drop off is only about 20 minutes from their house.

The babies are really growing fast - part of the problem with living so far away is they are doing all this great stuff and they're doing it without us.  But we got to spend a real holiday with them, we were here for Easter so that was fun. I made lasagna and we sat around doing my favorite thing which is eating Peeps and chocolate for one day. The naval housing here is really amazing, the whole place is clean and the houses are huge. Of course the yards are tiny and you have lots of neighbors, but there's park areas on every block and it's pretty quiet here - and very very safe.  We went to a tulip place on Monday - this is where they grow them so it's miles of them! We did the tourista thing which was very fun, Delilah is now a walker so she insisted on walking so we saw a lot of it at Toddler-speed, but that's OK.

We're seeing Kim and Stephen on Thursday, she lives about 4 hours from here so they make a little trip of it. I love that I get to see her at least once a year now. I know she'd like us to consider moving out here and part of me really does think about it. But we don't know where Jackson and Brandi will end up next and with me, a large part of it is my job. It's hard to find a job where they don't tear you to pieces on a daily basis if you're a nurse - I have a great job with Bayada that not only treats me well, but pays me too! People will say it's not all about money, life is too short,etc... but realistically? I have to work, I have no choice and it's a big part of my day at this time.Even though it's "just a job" I don't want to have to spend 40 hours a week being miserable and overworked - and believe me, having moved multiple times I can tell you there are far more places willing to grind you into the ground than places that respect you. So for now it will be twice a year visits which will have to do for now. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just Eat It

So, for the past couple of months David and I have been eating what's in the downstairs freezer. It came with the house and it's one of those old Hide-A-Body sized ones - you could probably hide 2 or 3 actually if you bent them up right. But I digress. The problem with having so much food storage is we tend to buy the same thing too many times not remembering it's down there and we end up with 10 bottles of  coffee creamer. Then there is the things we thought we would like,...... but hmm, yeah no. We've learned not buy any new foods at Sams Clubs if we haven't tried it yet - it's one thing to choke down one small package of something, it's a whole other ball game to be faced with the Economy Jumbo Size. So,  I moved what was left upstairs and was left with an ice encrusted giant freezer with bits of schumtz plastered to the bottom. Ew.

I actually had to hang upside down to reach the bottom but I did get it cleaned out and it's airing right now, I may or may not plug it back in because everything that was down there fits upstairs easily. We have been really good lately not buying things we don't need, we're down to only shopping once a week which really cuts down on the impulse buying. If I go into  a store for milk, chances are I'll leave with more than that, bet it's the same with you. Now, on the flip side I've gotten rid of things I will never use. I pitched some weird flaked garlic that I have no idea where I bought that. If  I open it and it's disgusting - out it goes - but I also don't buy it again because no matter the claim it will be the same thing no matter how hard you try. There is a calorie free maynaise I've bought twice, it has zero calories and looks great. It's fine until you try to eat it - seriously if it needs to taste like a mouth full of chemicals can't they at least make they vaguely likeable? It's like licking a tire and is completely inedible which probably accounts for it being zero calorie....

The other stuff I threw out was a bag of couscous. Not that I don't love couscous BUT when I cooked it,well....there's a place that I usually don't buy any rice, grains or flour because of coming home with more than I paid for. This must've been a left over before I smartened up. I started boiling the water, dumped in the couscous and the Bonus Bug drifted up to the top, sigh. SO I hate throwing anything out, I didn't see any other bugs, just the one so I finished cooking it and put it in a container in the fridge. I took it out a couple of times and then gave up the ship and tossed it. And the rest of it. All I could think of is finding little bug feet or little bug eyes mixed in with my dinner. Or EGGS. So, out it goes and no more buying grain based foods at that store. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fresh

The other day someone posted some silly article about rules for visiting a new mother - it was the usual crap. So I just made a little comment about how it doesn't apply to grandmas, just something silly. Of course we immediately  had the Easily Offended who felt the need to make rude comments, such as "selfish", blah blah blah. I turned off the notifications as I've learned from experience ANYTHING you say will just esculate the situation, like a cyber dog pile. The thing is - the article was stupid in my opinion, all it really was was common sense and and somewhat offensive. Why would I bother visiting anyone that had a list of rules for me before I even hit the door? But that is neither here nor there.

What I found offensive was the people that felt the need to attack what really was, no matter how you read it, a silly comment. These are people that are raising our next generation and it's frightening. They have no filter, no common sense and are so focused on thier "rights" they take nothing else into account except thier own opinion. Any other view is attacked and destroyed - and the things people do and say are almost breathtaking. All I can think when Iread some of these things is - would you say that to someone face to face? If you were across the dinner table would you do all that name calling? Do you really behave like that in real life? 

During the election I probably unfollowed a dozen people - and unfriended a few more - that is something that doesn't need to be on social media. EVER. I know there's some people thinking now it's their right to voice their opinion - and you are very correct. But there's a bit differentce between voicing your opinion and being a screaming piece of shit bully that insists on pushing it down my throat - regardless of whether it's a manifesto on what is required to visit you and your baby (and just for the record I hope you like being alone, all the time with your bubble baby and list of rules) or an opinion on whether Trump should (NOT) be president. I can't say I follow my own rules all of the time, but I will tell you when I feel like I'm not - I stop and leave. I try very hard to read what I'm posting first before hitting send - if that person was in the room with me would I actually say that to them? Would it hurt thier feelings? And if it would - I don't. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Home again

So, we stayed with Brandi and the girls for 8 days, that's longer than our usual stays, but since it's such a long trip to get there and it's not often that we do, we made it a bit longer of a stay. The entire time we were there it was rainy and cold with occasional sunshine - except the last day. That would be the one and only day it decided to snow. Our day started at 3:30am with the airline texting me a delay in flight. I called Orbitz and the guy said he'd call back, which he did as soon as I fell back asleep - the first flight was delayed but we would be able to make the connection. That is until the next text, and the next.... we decided to go to the airport early and would deal with it there. It had been snowing a bit before we left as Brandi pulled out of the drive it got worse, the road was starting to look messy - of course!! She needed gas so while David pumped the gas we looked for a shuttle service - success. And better yet the pick up was 20 minutes away and the next one was due in an hour. We hung out at McDonalds - we had to change the babies and took them in the bathroom. They had a changing table that made us laugh, ive never seen one so high up in the air. It was about chest high on Brandi, if it had been any higher she would have had to toss the baby up. One of the twins had an epic poop and thats when we discovered the wipes were still home so we had to improvise. As you can see, the whole day was slow going, but the shuttle showed up on time and off we went. 

We checked our bags and then got on The Stranded People Line which was long and crabby. We were near a woman from NJ and she was killing us - she was loudly complaining with a running commentary ("Did ja see that - he's flirting with them, FLIRTING - like we need this!"), she was ordering her husband around and had a bag big enough to fit a couple of bodies in - it did make the time go faster. SO, when we got up to The Flirter he managed to get his attention back on his job (and honestly, I would not want their job re-routing a legion of disgruntled passengers). We were given the choice of flying into Chicago and then not flying back out til 2pm THE NEXT DAY - no thank you! - or we could fly into San Francisco, hang around for a couple of hours and then direct fly to Pittsburgh landing at 6 am in the morning. We took the second option, we were up for the night either way. San Francisco was not bad - we had wifi and outlets to recharge, the food was GREAT, I had Spanish which I love, coffee and lots of seating. We took off a little later than planned but as long as I was heading home I did not care. 

I was supposed to have the middle seat but the teenage boy offered to sit in the middle so I could have the aisle, which was nice. Until he started fighting with the window passenger who happened to be his brother - I was VERY glad when they fell asleep. I knit for awhile, read, slept fitfully and since it was an 8 hour flight had to use the bathroom. I hate using the bathroom on the plane, it's so tiny and I'm always afraid will hit turbulence and I'll be sent flying out into the aisle - but nothing happened. I had called the parking place the night before to let them know we were delayed. We arrived on time, weary but home at last! Even our baggage made it which was amazing given how many people were rerouted. We collected our bags and called Globe who came and got us. Our car was warmed up (HURRAH!!) and off we went. What a long long drive home - we had been up for 36 hours, flown across the country and 3 time zones. I drove most of the way home while David rested and then when I started weaving he took over.. I unpacked and greeted the cats, got stuff going while he went and got the dogs - I fell into bed and slept for a few hours, boy were we a mess! But it was a wonderful trip and it was so nice seeing how well Brandi and the girls are doing. We'll go back out in the spring I think, I can't wait!